Whether you’re planning a long weekend trip on the water or a short voyage offshore to fish, don’t let a lack of preparedness come in the way of having a fun and safe trip. On every boater’s checklist should be a 406 MHz beacon, such as a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for yourself, and an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) for your boat.
An EPIRB is registered to the vessel and is designed to be mounted on a boat; it will emit a distress signal while floating for over 48 hours continuously. A PLB is smaller in size and is intended to be worn by the boater – usually clipped onto the boater’s life jacket. While waterproof, you still must keep them out of the water when activated and they will work for over 24 hours continuously.
“If something were to go wrong, having the ability to let rescuers know where you are is critical,” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of safe boating practices. “Although emergency situations may not arise – and we hope they don’t – it’s better to be prepared than not. EPIRBs and PLBs are helpful tools to let your rescuers find you quickly.”
PLBs and EPIRBs have saved more than 41,000 lives worldwide since the 1980s. ACR Electronics and the Sea Tow Foundation are using April 6th (406 Day) as a way to bring greater awareness to the technology that not only keeps boaters safe, but also the rescuers.
So, why consider a beacon? When you are out on the water, your cell phone might be out of range, and incidents happen just as quickly on water as they do on land. Beacons float and are waterproof. When a beacon is activated, it sends your information up to the search and rescue satellites, which is then sent to a Coast Guard Command Center in your area, where a search and rescue watch commander will be alerted, and help can be dispatched within minutes.
Nearly all of Sea Tow’s 600-plus captains use ACR beacons while out on the job. Do you have one, or have you ever had to use one while on the water? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Our friends at ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal want to ensure your safety this boating season with this 10% Off Site Wide Discount Code. Get the same gear our Captains use including an EPIRB, Personal Locator Beacon, Man Overboard Beacons, Life Jacket Strobe Lights, or an LED Searchlight. Visit the Sea Tow Savings Club to learn more.